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Struck by Covid, Telangana cab drivers seek inclusion under MSME revamp plan

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on June 25, 2021

They also request for loan waiver, insurance cover and compensation to deceased drivers.

The Telangana State Taxi and Drivers Joint Action Committee, which represents drivers working for the app-based platforms and other cab services, has asked the Union Ministry Of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises to make the drivers eligible for the MSME restructuring plan announced by the Reserve Bank of India.

It wanted the government to waive off loans or announce a moratorium on the loans till September 2021. “The Government should tell the banks and financial institutions not to harass the cab drivers by engaging recovery agents,” Shaik Salauddin, the Telangana State Taxi and Drivers Joint Action Committee chairman, said.

In a memorandum submitted to B. B. Swain, Secretary (Union Ministry Of MSME), and Chandra Sekhar, Additional Industrial Advisor at the MSME-Development Institute, he said that the cab drivers are classified as Gig and Platform workers as defined by the Social Security Code of 2020, the association.

“The app-based transport workers have been overwhelmed by the pandemic, and the second surge of Coronavirus has made matters worse for them. The loss of business due to lockdown and continuous harassment by recovery and loan agents for EMI payments have led to quite a few suicides in the drivers community,” he said in the memorandum.

The association wanted the government to make drivers get access to various livelihood, health and medical services to bail them out from the crisis. It also asked the Government to make drivers eligible for various MSME schemes to help them revive their livelihoods.

The association wanted the government to direct the transport firms to provide health and term insurance cover for the drivers as per the Motor Vehicles Act guidelines.

“We also demand compensation to those who suffered losses after they contracted the viral infection. The kin of the deceased drivers should get a compensation of ₹10 lakh each,” Shaik Salauddin said.

Published on June 25, 2021

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